Hamburg’s symbolic heart, the impressive neo-Renaissance sandstone City Hall (Rathaus), dominates the center of town. The Rathaus, built at the end of the 19th century, is home to the city’s senate and parliament.
City Hall (green roof) and the rest of Hamburg welcomed the Rotarians with blue flags. Even the saintly swans were in attendance.
City Hall’s tall clock tower looms over the Rathausmarkt, one of Hamburg’s main squares.
Martin Haller, who led the team of architects that designed City Hall, also designed the U.S. Consulate in Hamburg. Situated on the Outer Alster lake, the consulate is known to some as the “Alster White House.” [Courtesy: Brandon Logan}
A tour guide regales visitors in City Hall’s ornate inner courtyard.
Inner courtyard fountain. [Courtesy: Anne Swift]
Entrance to City Hall is free, and the vaulted and pillared ground floor entry hall usually plays host to an art or photography exhibition.
At the far end of the entrance hall is a dramatic door that leads to Das Parlament (the Parliament) restaurant.
Vaulted ceilings, polished wood and leather make the interior of the restaurant equally impressive. The menu offers local German dishes priced at perhaps 60% of what elegant restaurants around the city charge.
After dessert, take a turn around the Venetian-inspired Alster Arcades, just a few steps from the Rathaus. The arcade runs along the waterfront and Jungfernstieg promenade, where wealthy Burghers used to show off their unmarried daughters on weekends.
Stroll under the arcades’ white columns, visit the posh shops or take dessert at an upscale cafe overlooking the Alsterfleet canal.